Thursday, August 21, 2014

Amber Unicorn Books - Las Vegas, NV

Amber Unicorn Books - Las Vegas, NV

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Las Vegas, Nevada.  Sin City, the glamor, the glitz, the shows, the casinos, the second-hand smoke, the  independent bookstores!  Huh?  Independent bookstores?  Well, admittedly, you don't think of Las Vegas in the same way you do some of the renowned literary centers of the country but don't let that fool you.  They have indies here in Vegas and the one I visited is thriving.

My schedule in Vegas was extremely demanding but I managed to pull myself away from the second-hand smoke long enough to visit a great little indie, Amber Unicorn Books.  This place is located off the strip so if you don't have a rental car you'll need to catch a cab.  And by the way, hailing a cab is not allowed in Vegas (at least not when away from the strip) so call a cab company to arrange to pick you up if needed.  This place was well worth the $20+ cab ride.  No new books here but a very extensive inventory of used books.  Their book buy-backs are huge and you can get credit or cash.  They can take in hundreds of books per day but there is no computer inventory due to such high turnover.  Despite this, the organization of the store is outstanding.  They have everything but are especially loaded with cooking, meta-physical, and military.  Terry, one of the fine staffers here, told me that it is not unusual for chefs from the large hotels on the strip to stop in and look through the extensive inventory of cookbooks.  They also have a fine collection of leather bound editions (Franklin Mint, e.g.) as well as many rare and collectable books.  Looking for a t-shrit?  Go back to the strip.  Sequin trimmed greeting cards?  Nope.  Socks?  Forget it.  Heck, this place doesn't even have a cat.  But if you want books this is your stop in Vegas.

Regular readers of this blog know how often I write of the great people in these bookstores.  My regret here at Amber Unicorn Books is that I didn't get to meet the owners, Myrna and Lou.  But I did get to meet Terry and Cristina who were fantastic to talk to.  Another example of two people who are great ambassadors for independent bookstores.  I was here on a Wednesday afternoon and the entire time I was there they had a steady stream of customers.  Business here is going so well that they're expanding into an additional vacancy next door.  There are several indies here in Las Vegas but I'm saddened to hear that none of them carry news books, only used.  But this isn't slowing things down a bit here at Amber Unicorn Books.

So when you go to Vegas (and if you don't you'll know someone who will), take time away from the strip and the second-hand smoke of the casino.  Go visit this great little indie on Decatur Blvd.  And when your friends ask you what you did in Vegas tell them you visited an independent bookstore.  Then watch the look of disbelief on their face as they slowly nod their head.  Sure you did.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Die Trying, Lee Child.  Read it and liked it.  A Jack Reacher novel.  

CURRENTLY READING:  A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman.  Liking it.  Story of an old grumpmuffin who doesn't like anyone or anything.  

Lost all your money in the casino?  Consider bringing your books here.  

Huge inventory of books.  

Right inside the front door.   

Extremely watchful readers may recognize the left elbow of the celebrity in this picture who was spotted in Vegas.  Yes, that's my mom.  

I'm glad this place was the Amber Unicorn and not the Amber Cat.  But I suppose there's one of those out there somewhere.  

You can set the pile of books you'll be buying on this table.  

Looking down one of the aisles.  

Terry in back, Cristina in front, yours truly in the safety cone orange.  

Two of the wonderful staffers at Amber Unicorn, Cristina (L) and Terry.  Thanks for a great visit.  

The fine owners here, Lou and Myrna.  


  1. How did they come up with the name Amber Unicorn?????

  2. That is probably the best question about this indie and I can't answer it. This is the one thing I DIDN'T ask them! Guess I'll have to go back to Vegas and get the answer!